Throwback Thursday: Birth of the Carolina RailHawks Football Club


#TbT:  Most Thursdays, TSF will take a look back at the history of Carolina RailHawks Football Club through artifacts, pictures, stories, videos, and the recollections of our membership

Before there was Neil Morris writing for IndyWeek or WRALSportsFan, TriSoccerFan was a humble little blog over on Blogspot serving mainly as an outlet for soccer news related to players from and college and youth teams in the Triangle area.

But things got really exciting in January 2006 as we started to piece together some emerging facts:  The Town of Cary had amended it's lease to SAS Soccer Park in order to sublet the facility for 6 years to another organization and Triangle Professional Soccer had filed with the NC Secretary of State as an LLC

Then on January 20th, Cary Mayor Ernie McAlister called a press conference for January 26th and TriSoccerFan was the first "news source" (I use the term lightly in deference to the real journos out there) to definitively report that pro soccer was returning to the Triangle.

When the press conference rolled around, readers of TriSoccerfan learned:

  • Cary will feature in the new team's identity, either in the name or with a crest on the team shirt
  • There will be a "name the team" contest with the winner receiving two lifetime season tickets
  • The ownership group includes investors from the Rochester Raging Rhinos and the Atlanta Silverbacks, two existing USL First Division teams
  • Plans are for a six-to-ten game exhibition season at SAS Stadium this summer. Potential teams involved could include MLS teams, USL teams and international club teams.
  • There might also be a professional lacrosse exhibition at SAS Stadium
  • Season tickets packages are scheduled to start as low as $99

Many of the local news outlets picked up the story (but unfortunately most all of these links are now broken 9 years later) and TSF Founding Member Andy Mead was on hand at the process conference to record it photographically for posterity.

About 30 days later, Triangle Professional Soccer launched their first website (pictured at right).

And the rest, they say, is history... (we'll explore in subsequent #TbT posts)